by Matteo Morelli
Metro Arena in Espoo, Finland, is ready to welcome the top European ice dancers that will compete for the continental title of this season, with twenty-three teams representing nineteen countries expected to take the ice.
Espoo Metro Arena sees its third major international competition of this season, after hosting Finlandia Trophy in September and the Grand Prix of Espoo in November.
The Medal Hunt
Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri will enter the competition as the strongest European team of the season so far, having recorded the highest scores on both rhythm dance and free dance, and with two Grand Prix gold medals and a Grand Prix Final bronze medal. They already own two bronze medals from previous European Championships (2018/2019 and last season), and are aiming to secure the highest available spot on the podium.
Great Britain’s Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson will also aim to earn one of the most prestigious medals at this event. They are enjoying a strong season, with two silver medals from the Grand Prix events in Canada and Sheffield and a fourth place finish at their first Grand Prix Final.
Finland’s Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis will hope to medal in front of their home audiences, after having won a bronze and first Grand Prix medal at the Grand Prix event that took place last November in the very same arena at Espoo.
France’s Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud also come into the competition with a Grand Prix bronze medal that they won at Grand Prix de France. They will want to show all the progress they have been enjoying so far this season and aim for a continental medal.
At their forth Europeans appearance and also contenders for a medal are Lithuania’s Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevičius, which only competed at one Grand Prix (NHK Trophy) this season but still want to impress and fight for a medal.
Also hoping to skate at the best of their abilities and get on the podium are Czech Republic’s Natálie Taschlerová and Filip Taschler. This will be their third European Championships and surely one they will want to show what they are capable of.
Event info: Teams have official practices from Monday, January 23. The rhythm dance kicks off on Friday, January 27, at 1:15pm (EET); the free dance occurs on Saturday, January 28, at 6:30pm (EET).